Many scholars believe that it is procedurally undemocratic for the judiciary to have an active role in shaping the law. These scholars believe either that such practices as judicial review and creative statutory interpretation are unjustified, or that they are justified only because they improve the law substantively. This Article argues instead that the judiciary can play an important procedurally democratic role in the development of the law. Majority rule by legislatures is not the only defining feature of democracy; rather, a government is democratic to the extent to which it provides egalitarian forms of political participation. One such form of participation can be the opportunity to influence the law through the courts, either directly by participating in a case or indirectly by advocating litigation. Arguing from several examples, this Article shows that judicial decision-making allows different voices to be heard that may not necessarily have influence or power in majoritarian legislative structures or popular initiatives. Giving citizens the opportunity to change, to preserve, and to obtain authoritative clarification of the law through the courts can thus make a government procedurally more democratic.
Pretense is often characterized as a form of imagination, more specifically as a sort of enactive imagination. But for the most part, pretending and imagining interact with one’s evaluative / affective systems differently. One tends to respond to imagined content with emotions similar to (albeit more attenuated than) those one would feel if that content was real. When pretending, however, one’s affective responses are often much more generalized, and insensitive to the content of the pretense. We suggest that this is because one’s attentional focus in pretense is on the actions themselves, and their correspondence with the scripts or roles being used to generate the pretense. Moreover, because pretense is intrinsically motivated, pretending is generally fun, irrespective of what, in particular, is being pretended.
François-Marie d’Arouet (1694–1778), better known by his
pen name Voltaire, was a French writer and public activist who played
a singular role in defining the eighteenth-century movement called the
Enlightenment. At the center of his work was a new conception of
philosophy and the philosopher that in several crucial respects
influenced the modern concept of each. Yet in other ways Voltaire was
not a philosopher at all in the modern sense of the term. He wrote as
many plays, stories, and poems as patently philosophical tracts, and
he in fact directed many of his critical writings against the
philosophical pretensions of recognized philosophers such as Leibniz,
Malebranche, and Descartes.
Big Data promises to revolutionise the production of knowledge within
and beyond science, by enabling novel, highly efficient ways to plan,
conduct, disseminate and assess research. The last few decades have
witnessed the creation of novel ways to produce, store, and analyse
data, culminating in the emergence of the field of data
science, which brings together computational, algorithmic,
statistical and mathematical techniques towards extrapolating
knowledge from big data. At the same time, the Open Data
movement—emerging from policy trends such as the push for Open
Government and Open Science—has encouraged the sharing and
interlinking of heterogeneous research data via large digital
According to traditional Aristotelianism, what makes you and me be distinct entities is that although we are of the same species, we’re made of distinct chunks of matter. Here is a quick initial problem with this. …
In this talk, I propose to sketch the contents of Noether’s 1918 article, “Invariante Variationsprobleme”, as it may be seen against the background of the work of her predecessors and in the context of the debate on the conservation of energy that had arisen in the general theory of relativity.
One of the central areas of dispute in the reception of Kant’s
critical philosophy concerns his distinction between the cognitive
faculties of sensibility (Sinnlichkeit) and intellect
(Verstand), and their characteristic representational
outputs—viz. intuition (Anschauung) and concept
(Begriff). Though the dispute is multi-faceted, it centers on
disagreement concerning the interpretation of Kant’s conception
of the contribution made by the higher cognitive faculties (or the
“intellect” in the broadest sense of that term) to a
subject’s sensory apprehension of the world around it.
Under conditions of ideology, a standard model of normative political epistemology – relying on a domain-specific reflective equilibrium – risks status-quo bias. Social critique requires a more critical standpoint. What are the aims of social critique? How is such a standpoint achieved and what grounds its claims? One way of achieving a critical standpoint is through consciousness raising. Consciousness raising offers a paradigm shift in our understanding of the social world; but not all epistemic practices that appear to “raise” consciousness, are warranted. However, under certain conditions sketched in the paper, consciousness raising produces a warranted critical standpoint and a pro tanto claim against others. This is an important epistemic achievement, yet under conditions of collective self-governance, there is no guarantee that all warranted claims can be met simultaneously. There will be winners and losers even after legitimate democratic processes have been followed.
Conscious experiences are characterized by mental qualities, such as those involved in seeing red, feeling pain, or smelling cinnamon. The standard approach to modeling mental qualities is to develop a quality-space model, where mental qualities are represented by points in multidimensional spaces and where distances between points inversely correspond to degrees of phenomenal similarity. I begin by arguing that the standard framework cannot capture precision structure: for example, consider the phenomenal contrast between seeing an object as crimson in foveal vision versus seeing an object merely as red in peripheral vision. Then I develop a new formal framework that models mental qualities using regions, rather than points. I explain how this new framework not only provides a natural way of modeling precision, but also yields a variety of further theoretical fruits: it enables us to formulate novel hypotheses about the space and structures of mental qualities, formally differentiates two dimensions of phenomenal similarity, generates a quantitative model of the phenomenal so-rites, and provides a new theoretical tool for the empirical investigation of conscious experiences. A noteworthy consequence of the framework is that the structure of the mental qualities of conscious experiences is fundamentally different from the structure of the perceptible qualities of external objects.
I survey from a modern perspective what spacetime structure there is according to the general theory of relativity, and what of it determines what else. I describe in some detail both the “standard” and various alternative answers to these questions. Besides bringing many underexplored topics to the attention of philosophers of physics and of science, metaphysicians of science, and foundationally minded physicists, I also aim to cast other, more familiar ones in a new light.
In physics the concept of reduction is often used to describe how features of one theory can be approximated by those of another under specific circumstances. In such circumstances physicists say the former theory reduces to the latter, and often the reduction will induce a simplification of the features in question. (By contrast, the standard terminology in philosophy is to say that the less encompassing, approximating theory reduces the more encompassing theory being approximated.) Accounts of reductive relationships aspire to generality, as broader accounts provide a more systematic understanding of the relationships between theories and which of their features are relevant under which circumstances.
Based on three common interpretive commitments in general relativity, I raise a conceptual problem for the usual identification, in that theory, of timelike curves as those that represent the possible histories of (test) particles in spacetime. This problem affords at least three different solutions, depending on different representational and ontological assumptions one makes about the nature of (test) particles, fields, and their modal structure. While I advocate for a cautious pluralism regarding these options, I also suggest that re-interpreting (test) particles as field processes offers the most promising route for natural integration with the physics of material phenomena, including quantum theory.
In Part III of his Ethics, “On the Origin and Nature of
the Affects,” which is the subject of this article, Spinoza
addresses two of the most serious challenges facing his thoroughgoing
naturalism. First, he attempts to show that human beings follow the
order of nature. Human beings, on Spinoza’s view, have causal natures
similar in kind to other ordinary objects, other “finite
modes” in the technical language of the Ethics, so they
ought to be analyzed and understood in the same way as the rest of
nature. Second, Spinoza attempts to show that moral concepts, such as
the concepts of good and evil, virtue, and perfection, have a basis in
In this chapter we will see how string theory contains some surprising symmetries – ‘dualities’ – which, we will argue, put pressure on the view that the spacetime in which strings are described can be literally identified with classical, physical spacetime – instead it is ‘emergent’ from the theory. While the following stands on the previous chapter, and exemplifies its physics, it can be read on its own to understand the essential conclusions. We focus on one such symmetry, ‘T-duality’, but at the end review others.
The consequences of Quine’s criterion of ontological commitment epitomized in his treatment of the term ‘Pegasus’ in “On What There Is” are evaluated in terms of Quine’s own work, in particular in “The Variable” and “Variables Explained Away”. There is a cost to maintaining this criterion with regard to the empirical consequences of some non-existent objects, given considerations prompted by Quine’s holism. This cost can be reduced by adopting a noneist position according to which non-existent objects can be values of bound variables as well.
Archimedes’ statics is considered as an example of ancient Greek applied mathematics; it is even seen as the beginning of mechanics. Wilbur Knorr made the case regarding this work, as other works by him or other mathematicians from ancient Greece, that it lacks references to the physical phenomena it is supposed to address. According to Knorr, this is understandable if we consider the propositions of the treatise in terms of purely mathematical elaborations suggested by quantitative aspects of the phenomena. In this paper, we challenge Knorr’s view, and address propositions of Archimedes’ statics in their relation to physical phenomena.
Edmund Burke, author of Reflections on the Revolution in
France, is known to a wide public as a classic political thinker:
it is less well understood that his intellectual achievement depended
upon his understanding of philosophy and use of it in the practical
writings and speeches by which he is chiefly known. The present essay
explores the character and significance of the use of philosophy in
his political thought. That thought is of the very first importance
for intellectual history and for the conduct of politics. This essay
is the first attempt to examine its philosophical character and to
connect the latter with Burke's political activity.
In my paper, I defend an interpretation according to which Aristotle thinks in Nicomachean Ethics (EN) that the rational aspect of soul is needed in discerning which ends of desire would be good. Many interpreters have traditionally supported this, ‘rationalist’ line of interpreting Aristotle’s theory of value cognition. The rationalist interpretation has, however, recently come under a novel challenge from Jessica Moss (2011, 2012), but has not yet received a defence. Moss attempts to resurrect now virtually abandoned ‘anti-rationalist’ interpretation, which claims, in a contrast to the rationalist one, that discerning good ends may require no activity from the rational aspect, but only well-habituated non-rational desire. Moss’ interpretation appeals to certain Aristotle’s claims in De Anima (DA) 3, which, she thinks, show that non-rational phantasia suffices for discerning good ends if only accompanied with the habituated desire. Although her interpretation can successfully avoid some problems that earlier anti-rationalist interpretations faced with certain passages of EN, I also argue, however that it introduces some new problems, and attributes philosophically incoherent views about moral responsibility to Aristotle. Therefore I conclude that even after Moss’ improvements to the anti-rationalist interpretation, the rationalist interpretation remains overall more plausible.
The notions of time and causality are revisited, as well as the A- and B-theories of time, in order to determine which theory of time is most compatible with relativistic spacetimes. Using time-orientation as one of the fundamental parameters in our manifold, we will describe the concept of time and time-series (the ordering of events in time) in Special and General Relativity and their intrinsic differences. The notions of A-theory and B-theory will be given mathematical interpretations within the scheme of General Relativity. As result, in time-orientable spacetimes, the notions of events being in the future and past, which are notions of A-thoery, are more fundamental than the notions of events being earlier than or later than than other events, which are notions of B-theory. This supports the A-theory of time vs. the B-theory of time. Furthermore, we find that B-theory notions are are incompatible with some structures found in globally hyperbolic spacetimes, namely past and future inextendible curves.
Brentanians defend the view that there are distinct types of object, but that this does not entail the admission of different modes of being. The most general distinction among objects is the one between realia, which are causally efficacious, and irrealia, which are causally inert. As for being, which is equated with existence, it is understood in terms of “correct acknowledgeability.” This view was defended for some time by Brentano himself and then by his student Anton Marty. Their position is opposed to Bolzanian, Husserlian, and Meinongian ontologies, in which a distinction in the (higher) types of object implies a distinction in their mode of being. These Austro-German discussions anticipate much of the contemporary debate between Quineans, who accept only differences in objects, and neo-Meinongians or other ontological pluralists, who accept different modes of being. My paper first presents the Brentanian view in detail and then evaluates its philosophical significance.
Despite its long history of investigating sociality, phenomenology has, to date, said little about online sociality. The phenomenological tradition typically claims that empathy is the fundamental way in which we experience others and their experiences. While empathy is discussed almost exclusively in the context of face-to-face interaction, I claim that we can empathetically perceive others and their experiences in certain online situations. Drawing upon the phenomenological distinction between the physical, objective body and the expressive, lived body, I: (i) highlight that empathy involves perceiving the other’s expressive, lived body, (ii) show that the lived body is not tied to the physical body and that empathy can take place outside of face-to-face interactions, and (iii) argue that the lived body can enter online space and is empathetically available to others there. I explore two ways in which the other’s lived body enters online space and can be empathetically perceived: first, in cases where our face-to-face encounter is technologically-mediated over video link and, second, by showing how the other’s texts, as speech, can form part of the other’s lived body. Investigating empathy online not only furthers our understanding of online encounters but also leads to a refined conception of empathy more generally.
This chapter builds on the results of the previous two to investigate the extent to which spacetime might be said to ‘emerge’ in perturbative string theory. Our starting point is the string theoretic derivation of general relativity explained in depth in the previous chapter, and reviewed in §1 below (so that the philosophical conclusions of this chapter can be understood by those who are less concerned with formal detail, and so skip the previous one). The result is that the consistency of string theory requires that the ‘background’ spacetime obeys the Einstein Field Equation (EFE) – plus string theoretic corrections. But their derivation, while necessary, is not sufficient for spacetime emergence. So we will next, in §2, identify spacetime structures whose derivation would justify us in saying that a generally relativistic spacetime ‘emerges’: this section will be important for establishing a fruitful way of approaching the question. The remainder of the chapter, §3-5, will investigate how these structures arise as empirical phenomena in string theory: at this point we will also draw on the results concerning T-duality from chapter 7 (again summarizing the essential ideas). A critical question is the recurring one of this book: whether these structures are indeed emergent, or just features already present in the more fundamental string theory. Insofar as they are emergent, the goal is of course to try to understand the physical principles underwriting their formal derivation.
Franz Brentano is well known for highlighting the importance of intentionality, but he said curiously little about the nature of intentionality. According to Mark Textor, there is a deep reason for this: Brentano took intentionality to be a conceptual primitive the nature of which is revealed only in direct grasp. Although there is certainly textual support for this interpretation, it appears in tension with Brentano’s repeated attempts to analyze intentionality in terms of ‘notional constituents’ – aspects which cannot come apart in reality but which can be conceptually distinguished. After bringing out this tension, I explore some options for resolving it, ultimately offering my own favored interpretation.
Anselm’s Proslogion II presents the original and classic version of the Ontological Argument, which has inspired many others yet still remains the most intriguing and ingenious. It forms the first part of an extended meditation based on Anselm’s understanding of God as ‘that than which nothing greater can be thought’, and the role of this first part is to prove that God – so understood – truly exists. Proslogion III then builds on this by arguing that God – again as understood by Anselm’s formula – cannot even be thought not to exist, and this has been taken by some philosophers (starting with Charles Hartshorne and Norman Malcolm) as inspiration for modal forms of Ontological Argument whose logic is quite different. Here, however, I shall focus only on the argument of Proslogion II, though what I say about Anselm’s formula and its troublesome ambiguities would potentially have negative implications for his later arguments also. Space precludes discussion of all the relevant interpretative issues even in respect of this initial argument, and my emphasis will be primarily philosophical: exploring how far it can provide a basis for a successful Ontological Argument, whether or not the version that results is entirely faithful to Anselm’s own thought.
According to Descartes, we come to know about the mind and the body as separate substances by way of philosophical meditation, while we see that mind and body may interact as a union by ‘‘using only life and ordinary conversation’’ and ‘‘abstaining from meditating.’’ What is significant, indeed, far more significant than has been appreciated by commentators so far, is that we, thereby, are supposed to answer what has come to be considered one of the most central questions of Descartes’ philosophy, the question ‘‘How do minds and bodies interact?’’, not by way of Descartes’ official method of meditation through methodological doubt and clear and distinct perception, but by explicitly acting against the recommendations of this method. Since meditation is supposed to provide an unshakeable epistemic foundation for claims to knowledge, this raises the question whether there is any sense in which we, on Descartes’ view, can be said to know anything about the mind-body union.
Wilhelm Windelband (1848–1915) was a German neo-Kantian
philosopher. He is considered the founding father of the Baden (or
Southwest) school of Neo-Kantianism. The Baden school included his
student and successor at Heidelberg, Heinrich Rickert
(1863–1936), and Rickert’s student Emil Lask
(1875–1915) as its core members. Alongside his contemporary
Hermann Cohen (1842–1918)—the founder of the Marburg
school of Neo-Kantianism—Windelband is a central proponent of
the anti-psychologistic interpretation of Kant that became dominant in
German academic philosophy from the 1880s onwards, and that
constituted the backbone of “orthodox” neo-Kantianism in
the late nineteenth century.
You have come to the troubling realization that a friend of yours, whom you have loved with affection for many years, isn’t the person he seemed to be. You hadn’t taken seriously enough the gossip about his obnoxious and cruel behavior. You never doubted his values when he made “colorful remarks”. And in the last few years, you’ve been so busy and distracted with work and family that you haven’t really been paying much attention to him at all. But now your attention is focused, your awareness heightened, and your eyes clear. You see now that he really is a pig, that his kindness really is put on, and that his charms are merely that charms. He is not refreshingly flakey, but unreliable and insincere. Not charismatic, but sloppy and arrogant. What you once believed to be his good qualities you now see as veneer over a mix of vice and hollowness underneath.
The aesthetics of our own actions are already a natural part of the rich experience of our lives. And the arts of action already exist in plenty; we are surrounded by them. Many of our artifacts are designed for the sake of encouraging and structuring the aesthetics of actions.
Here is an old joke: what is black and white and red all over? A newspaper. Why though? As we assume that nothing could really be black and white and red all over, we infer that ‘red’ should be heard as ‘read.’ In the grand philosophical tradition of making even humour unfunny, I want to take issue with this assumption. My thesis is that it is possible to see two objects in black and white, while at the same time seeing one of them as redder than the other. More generally, I argue that it is possible to perceptually represent colour relations between two objects, without perceptually representing their colours. I call this primitive relational colour representation (PRCR). This goes against the orthodox view that we represent colour relations by virtue of representing colours. This orthodoxy has been challenged by several authors in the recent literature, and I here add my name to the chorus.
Questions central to the ontology of art include the following: what
sort of things are works of art? Do all works of art belong to a
single category of entities? Do they have multiple instances? Do
works have parts or constituents, and if so, what is their relation to
the work as a whole? How are works of art individuated? Are they
created or discovered? Can they be destroyed? Explicit and extensive treatments of these topics written
prior to the 19th century have yet to be found. This does
not mean, however, that there is nothing relevant to these ontological
questions in early writings on beauty, the arts, and related